Textbooks for Russian High Schoolers Try to Justify Ukraine War

Textbooks for Russian Excessive Schoolers Attempt to Justify Ukraine Warfare

As Russian highschool college students returned to lessons after the summer time break on Friday, they had been anticipated to obtain a closely revised historical past textbook that claims that Ukraine is an “ultranationalist state” the place “opposition is forbidden,” and that america is “the principle beneficiary of the Ukrainian battle.”

The rewritten model of “The Historical past of Russia, 1945 to the start of the twenty first Century,” a textbook for 16- and 17-year-old college students, was first unveiled at first of August. The e book follows a singular and standardized model of historical past permitted by the very best echelons of energy in Russia, and it seems to be the most recent push within the Kremlin’s youth-targeted propaganda marketing campaign to justify its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The textual content devotes 28 pages to Russia’s struggle in Ukraine, which the authors body as a response to an more and more aggressive West that meant to make use of Ukraine as a “battering ram” to destroy Russia. Revised historical past textbooks for youthful college students will probably be launched subsequent yr, in accordance with a report from RIA Novosti, a Russian state media outlet.

One of many e book’s authors, Vladimir Medinsky, is a former tradition minister and an adviser to President Vladimir V. Putin. Echoing Mr. Putin’s personal phrases, the authors accused america of spreading what they name “Russophobia” in former Soviet republics and of escalating the struggle in Ukraine, leaving Russia with “no different options” than to name for a partial mobilization that aimed to press 300,000 males into service within the battle in 2022.

The revised historical past textual content is just one of a number of methods the struggle effort has affected primary eduction. The Ministries of Training and Protection has mentioned that, beginning in 2024, highschool college students will probably be required to take a category known as “The Fundamentals of Protection and Protection of the Homeland,” which can embody restricted army coaching. Boys will examine drill formation, drone utilization and the ins and outs of Kalashnikov rifles, whereas ladies will probably be instructed in battlefield first support.

Critics have known as the brand new textbooks a whole falsification. “As an alternative of historical past, they’re educating propaganda in colleges,” Anton Orekh, an impartial Russian journalist, wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

One instance of the omissions within the textbook is its remedy of gulags, the infamous labor camps the place the dictator Joseph Stalin despatched numerous political prisoners and the place hundreds of thousands of Russians died between 1929 and 1953. They’re talked about as an apart, with no particulars about their brutality.

Mikhail Myagkov, the director of the Russian Army Historic Society, praised the brand new academic supplies for offering a extra “goal” view of Mr. Stalin, whose insurance policies led to a famine that killed an estimated 3 to 4 million individuals in Ukraine. The up to date textbooks current Mr. Stalin as somebody who “clearly defended the Soviet Union’s international coverage pursuits,” Mr. Myagkov mentioned.

“Not a phrase of fact,” Lyubov Sobol, an exiled opposition determine allied with the jailed dissident Aleksei Navalny, wrote on social media.

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